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Advent Thanksgiving: Why I love Twitter

serenity joss whedon

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Imaginary friends (& Joss Whedon)

I had a Twitter account last year, but this is the year that I finally ‘got it’. The biggest change came when I was watching Serenity on tv and couldn’t help but ecstatically tweet some lines from the film. Other people replied. People I didn’t know! What?

Until this point I was following some names I knew from blogs, a handful of comedians, the Guardian’s books feed and the few web-friendly mates I had who also had Twitter accounts. I didn’t really know how to find anyone else. But one search for #Serenity brought up loads of other people who were also watching the film and spreading the Whedon love. I said hello. They said hello back, and we all swooned over Nathan Fillion. This was fun!

I searched for #Whedon, #Buffy and #Firefly and discovered hordes more people with similar tastes as me. This wasn’t an exercise in getting more followers, this was me falling down the rabbit hole and finding twitter streams full of links and jokes that led me to more people, more sites, more blogs. Twitter started to be a whole lot more fun.

Never bored

I expanded my search and started finding people who were into #scifi, #fantasy, pop culture and music. Lots of them, all with something to say. Now all I have to do if I’m bored (or procrastinating) is open up Twitter and my imaginary friends suggest pages and pages of content from all over the web that I can spend all day reading if I’m not strict with myself.

Writing opportunities

The 3 main things I’ve been writing this year (apart from my novel) have been reviews for Slacker Heroes, The British Fantasy Society and my blog. None of these would have happened without Twitter. It was a tweet from @BritFantasySoc that told me they were looking for book reviewers. And a day or so after I watched Serenity with my gang of new friends, Jen from @Slackerheroes tweeted that she was looking for a book reviewer for her site. I’d found her on Twitter because she loves Joss Whedon possibly even more than me. I replied, she said yes, and now I love being part of her team. And my blog? I have no idea how I would let people know about it without Twitter. I might have still been writing for it, but no one would have known. How could they?

If you don’t ‘get’ Twitter yet, try searching for things you are interested in. Someone else will definitely like the same stuff as you, and if you’re lucky they are as interesting, funny and friendly as they people I’ve met online. Then have a look at who they follow, and who follows them. Say hello. Be nice. Have fun. Add me.

count von count sesame street

Just because the Count loves to count, doesn't mean you have to.

Stop counting

It’s not a game of numbers – Twitter will only ever be a chore if you think that it matters how many followers you have, or someone else has. It’s about finding people who also think the cancellation of Eureka is enough of A Bad Thing to tweet about it. Who are as excited as you about baking bread, or knitting. Who always find funny Star Wars articles and share them, so you don’t have to go looking. Who can recommend books you might like, and warn you away from the bad ones. You know how Facebook and Amazon are always trying to suggest things or people you might like, but get it so embarrassingly wrong? Your Twitter feed can be an auto-suggest that works, a constantly updating list of things you will like, hand picked for you by people who like those things too. Pretty cool, huh?

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Advent Thanksgiving: Crafty Cool

Source: whitezine.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Last week I posted on the coolest kitchenware of 2011 – today I bring you the very best in knit & crochet fandom. You’re welcome ;-). Click on the images for sources/patterns.

 

Knit your own Death Star. One time you want holes in your knitting, or else how will the rebels get in?

Source: etsy.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

Look at these Star Wars amigurumi! You can buy the patterns from Etsy here, make all of them and send them to me. Please. I can crochet but I’m too lazy. I think I like the ewok best (my dark side should obviously prefer Darth, but I’m on a kawaii tip at the moment. I think it’s from all the Studio Ghibli films on Film4 at the moment. Bliss).

 

More amigurumi genius – bow down to smapte for making these perfect Star Trek: New Generation figures. She’s also made characters from The Big Lebowski, Dune, Doctor Who, Tron, Firefly, Mad Men and Lost. I think I just fell in love. Gallery of the others here.

 

In the future, we won’t need Zoidberg costumes because the sea-levels will have risen and it’ll be ‘Evolve or Die’. We’ll have our own tentacley crustacea thing going on. Til then, why not knit this Zoidberg balaclava and mittens. They’ll call you futuristic. They’ll be right.

Source: ravelry.com via Rhian on Pinterest

 

Pessimists among you may dispute my ‘in the future we’ll all have gills’ theory. Perhaps you think it more likely that a zombie plague will wipe us out before we get to evolve to Zoidberg heights. Knit yourself a zombie brraaiins hat and go to war against the zoidberg-balaclava people. Fight! Fight! Fight!

 

Me, I’m a pacifist, more about the theorising than the fisticuffs, so I won’t get involved in the dispute even though I started it. I’ll be at home, snuggled under my Doctor Who quilt. Night night. Sweet dreams.

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AdventThanksgiving: Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming Latte

Winter Is Coming (from sticksstonesandherringbones tumblr)

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

Ages after everyone else knew about them, 2011 was the year I started GRR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. My friends had been thrusting them at me for years, but I resisted. I can’t even remember why I demurred at first, but after a while it was a mix of ‘they can’t be that good if everyone else likes them, especially if they liked them before me’, and stubbornness. The same reasons I delayed reading Anne Rice and Jeff Noon and have still not seen The Wire. I would now murder for a new Jeff Noon book  and I know I will love The Wire once I get round to watching it. Later.

Anyway, this year the pull of needing to read A Game of Thrones before the TV series started and everyone else read it meant I finally gave in. Yes, while reluctant to be the last to the party when all my friends had already discovered GRRM,  I was keen to be able to say I’d already read them when the TV series brought everyone else in. I’m a horrible hipster book snob, who knew?

Three books in and you can call me a convert. I’ll definitely be finishing the series, and I’m glad I missed the years of wait for A Dance With Dragons, the delay that provoked this blog post from a certan Mr Gaiman. My loathing of Sean Bean means I might not watch the TV series, unless I just fast forward the bits with him in.

I’ve left the series for a while, though. I read the first three too fast and the gloom started to prey on me. Winter is Still Coming, and things are just getting worse and worse. Every time I start to like a character something terrible happens to them, usually some kind of brutal death. There’s a turn of events in A Storm of Swords that I fear I may never recover from. If you’ve read it, you know what I mean. I read that chapter again and again, certain I had to be wrong. Then I cried – half sad, half angry that GRR had done it to me AGAIN. Trick me once, shame on you, trick me twice – your book is going in the freezer where it can’t hurt me any more, a little trick I learned from Joey in Friends.

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Advent Thanksgiving: Six reasons to love The Fades

fades montage armedbasterds tumblr

brilliant fades montage from armedbasterds tumblr

My Advent Thanksgiving series is a series of posts about stuff I liked in 2011. Music, books, tv, games, handsome gentlemen – you get the idea.

1. Buy Local

It was on the BBC and it was British. Not that I like programmes less when they are imports, but I do like them more when they are ‘local’ because then I get to be proud, and I get all the references (I forgave all of Torchwood’s dodgier moments when it was filmed in my hometown, because there was always a chance I’d see my mum in the background).

I was guilty of not expecting much of this because it was British, though – I’m not in the habit of associating the BBC with quality supernatural drama, regardless of Doctor Who. I gave The Fades a try because most of my Twitter stream kept mentioning it, and my Best Friend With Reliable Taste saw it and thought it would be my thing. He was right. Everyone was right. The Fades was a beautiful, clever, scary series, and when the DVD comes out I’m going to buy it and watch it all over again. Now that they’ve impressed me, I do hope the BBC capitalises on my good will and rolls out some new stuff that isn’t bollocks next year, too.

chris skins fades joseph dempsie2. Chris From Skins resurrected.

Albeit as an evil people eating thing. I still haven’t forgiven Skins for, um, for what is too spoilery to mention. And I hid behind my hands whenever the camera panned over to the underground zombie-egg sacs. But if someone had to climb out of a squirming zombie egg sac and eat people, I’m glad it was ChrisFromSkins. I’d missed him.

nardini fades daniella3. Anna from This Life

“The truth is, all this, it’s simple. Either the world will end, or we’ll stop him, or something stronger will come along that can…”

Daniella Nardini! As a gun toting priest with supernatural healing powers, who sicks up moths. Miles would not have approved.

4. Fade Into You

I like the concept of the fades, as a very urban spirit-zombie cross, skulking around roofs and desolate car parks. This pic is Spooky Natalie, the ghost girl who follows Paul around, either trying to befriend him or trying to kill him. It’s hard to be sure. Her disjointed, walk-0f-the-dead shuffle isn’t far removed from the slouching of living teens or nonchalant models, which is kinda charming.

I’m more comfy with charming than ‘argh! What was that!’ terrifying, or ‘zombie egg sac!’ gross, which there was also a lot of. Some bits I didn’t look at the screen for. I’m glad they were there, happy for the people who like that kind of stuff and don’t get much of it on tv – I’m a wuss, that’s all.

jay fades sophie wu

5. Jay. Swoon.

I have such a girl-crush on Jay. No wonder Paul’s in love with her. Check out his geek-romance confession (thanks to Bleeding Cool for the transcript)

Paul: Me and Mac discussed who our ideal girl was the other days. We decided Queen Amidala crossed with Marion Ravenwood, Princess Airwin, Ororo Monroe or Storm as she’s commonly known, George Lucas

Jay: George Lucas?

Paul: Well the sex wouldn’t be up to much but the pillow talk would be amazing. We also had Alan Moore on the list but we decided his beard too big. Anyway, my point, is, was, is, when we were discussing our female mashup, there was only one girl on… in, my mind. You.

Jay: I’m quite drunk.

Paul: And I say this because should I ever disappear I’d want you to know. I’d want you to know, and now you do.

Jay: Come on, let’s go find somewhere private.

Paul: Private… why?

Jay: Private is a euphemism. I’m making a euphemism. I don’t know who Alan Moore is and you don’t know what going somewhere private means., I guess that makes us somewhat even.

Paul: You don’t know who Alan Moore is?

6. The pop culture references

Paul: Would you say everything you’ve ever learnt about was from films, Mac?

Mac: No. Television been doing some important work for me recently. And then there’s the whole complicated – nay, thorny – issue of internet pornography…

The Alan Moore conversation is just one of the pop culture references that Paul and Mac’s dialogue is loaded with. Every one of them made me grin, especially the mention of Susan Cooper in episode one. I re-read The Dark Is Rising this year, and my love for her is still strong.

Paul: I’m thinkin’ Pratchett. If I could get anyone to write my life story… Pratchett.

Mac: Hey, you’re walking very quickly…

Paul: No, okay. Um, a mix. Pratchett’s wit, definitely. Alan Moore’s soul, and um… Susan Cooper’s plotting.

Mac: Clive Lewis’ heroism, and Tolkien’s slightly twisted sexuality.

Paul: Tolkien had a twisted sexuality?

Mac: The Eye of Mordor. The man was clearly petrified of vaginas.

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